Part IV: User Research 👀
Why User Research
aResearch is a powerful tool for challenging assumptions and testing hypotheses. If you’re excited about running a pilot, consider what you’d accomplish by first running a quick research sprint. Research can stand alone without a pilot (and often should!), can be run in preparation for a pilot to refine hypotheses, or can be run concurrently (or after) a pilot to capture qualitative and “quantish” insights.
The process is intentionally broad. Trust the process! If you feel uncomfortable, it means you’re doing it right.
What are the steps to research and how much time do I need?
Design and Planning (2 hours)
Bring the team together and define a) assumptions, b) desired outcomes, and c) both a design challenge and research objective.
Walk away with a week-by-week calendar of what you plan to accomplish.
Recruiting (2 weeks)
Field Guide (1 week)
Using your assumptions, information from expert interviews, insights from the recruiting process and other context, compile everything you need to be organized in the field. The core document is a script that eases your candidate into a conversation. It also includes defining compensation, compiling release forms, camera and recording devices (if needed), and a variety of other tools to help facilitate conversations.
Interviews (1-2 weeks)
Long-form ethnographic interviews are a powerful tool for testing assumptions. The best interviews are not representative, but test extremes. They should be 90-120 minutes of uninterrupted time in a quiet place.
Your note taker(s) should be prepared to capture as much as they can verbatim. As soon as possible after each interview “download” the key quotes and observations.
Synthesis (1-2 weeks)
Exit surveys are a great way to get feedback on the product and pilot experience from users now that they’ve gone through the process. You might want to ask about issues, misconceptions, and net promoter scores to get a sense of how successful the pilot was. In addition, you may have uncovered interesting facts during the interview process or through observations that you can add some quantifiable meat towards in an exit survey.
We typically send out the exit surveys on the last day of the pilot or immediately after - waiting too much longer means that you will likely have a steep drop off in response rates.
is an example exit survey that we’ve recently used.
Resources From Recent Research Projects